Aims of English in the National Curriculum
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, can make formal presentations, demonstrate to others and participate in debate. (DFE 2013)
At Westbourne, we begin by teaching children to read using a phonic approach (using the Jolly Phonics Scheme). This way, children learn the sounds which make up the English language and relate them to their written forms. Children can then 'sound out' words by reading them in sequence before blending them into words. This system is supported using phonic-based fiction and non-fiction reading books. Through the Infants and into the Juniors, we use the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme to develop their reading skills. These books are sequenced according to difficulty and introduce high-frequency words as well as building on the phonic patterns with which children are becoming increasingly confident. As the children progress still further, they become 'free readers', meaning they can select their own reading material from either classroom book corners or from their own/local library collection. Our ultimate aim is for all children to enjoy reading and to derive pleasure from engaging with a wide variety of books and texts.
Whole Class Teaching
Classes throughout the whole school we teach reading using the 5 strands from the acronym DERIC: Decode, Explain, Retrieve, Interpret, Choice. The children learn to read the written word, explain the meanings of words, skim and scan to find information, work out the author’s intent and explain why the author has chosen to write in a certain way. See the workshop resources above for more detailed information.
From Year 1 onwards, each year group has a list of 10 recommended books to challenge the children and provide them with a wide-ranging literary base for the future lives. These are also detailed above in the workshop information.
The aim of our curriculum is for every Westbourne child to leave school with the ability to write in an articulate and creative fashion. Children have many opportunities to write from Nursery onwards. Initially the focus is on using the correct pencil grip before moving onto correct letter formation and the application of phonic sounds to writing. As children progress through the school, they are taught to write in many different styles across a wide range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Examples include: instructions, explanations, reports, recounts, adventure stories, myths, fables and poems. Children are expected to write in a grammatically correct fashion, with accurate spelling and appropriate punctuation. These skills are also taught discretely and applied within the relevant genres.
By the end of Year 3, most children will be able to write in the following genres:
Fiction: Stories with familiar settings, poems, traditional stories, adventure stories.
Non-fiction: Instructions, non-chronological reports, recounts, explanations, letters.
By the end of Year 6, most children will be able to write in the following genres:
Fiction: Stories with familiar settings, traditional stories, adventure stories, historical stories, playscripts, myths, legends and fables, mystery stories, sci-fi stories.
Non-fiction: instructions, non-chronological reports, recounts, explanations, letters, persuasive writing, discussion texts, autobiography and biography, journalistic writing, formal writing.